Report on Local and Regional Democracy in the United Kingdom - CG (5) 7 Part II

Rapporteurs: Henry FRENDO (Malta) and Hans Ulrich STOECKLING (Switzerland)

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EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

1. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

In Resolution 31 (1996), the Congress had made it clear that, over a reasonable period of time, all members States would be the subject of a detailed report on local and regional democracy. Furthermore, Resolution 58 (1997) had identified the United Kingdom as one of the countries where major problems of local democracy existed, although it should be pointed out that this was before the new British Government, elected on 1 May 1997, introduced major new initiatives in the field of local and regional government.

Nevertheless, it was considered useful to take a closer look at the reforms undertaken by the new Government; to study them in the light of the experience of other European countries and to continue the preparation of a report on the situation of local and regional democracy in the member States. Within the framework of the joint Working Groups on the Situation of Local Democracy in Member States and on Regionalisation in Europe, two Rapporteurs were asked to prepare this report: Professor Henry Frendo, Mayor of Attard and Chairman of the Association of Mayors (Malta), for the Chamber of Local Authorities, and Hans Ulrich Stoeckling, Head of the Cantonal Government of St Gallen (Switzerland), for the Chamber of Regions. The consultant for this Group was Professor Massimo Balducci from the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Florence. The Rapporteurs wish to express their thanks to the consultant.

The Rapporteurs have received a mass of documentation from many interlocutors. A basic list of this documentation appears under Appendix I. They visited the United Kingdom on two occasions, as follows:

- London, from 15 to 17 December 1997 and

- London and Edinburgh, on 26 and 27 March 1998.

A programme of the visits and the persons met appears under Appendix II. Particular thanks go to the Minister for Local Government and Housing, Hilary Armstrong, and to the staff from the Local Government International Bureau and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities who have largely facilitated the Rapporteurs' task.

From a practical point of view, the Rapporteurs were able to visit a London Borough Council (Greenwich) and benefited from contacts between the consultant and people responsible within Luton District Council and Matlock County Council.

The aim of this report is to provide a description of the situation of local self-government in the United Kingdom, in the framework of the monitoring activities on the state of local and regional self-government in member States carried out by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.

As the United Kingdom ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government on 24 April 1998, it might be expected that local self-government be assessed in comparison with the prescriptions of the Charter. In paragraph 4 of this report, we shall attempt such an assessment. However, this does not imply any value judgment on the state of local self-government in the country concerned. When trying to compare local government in the United Kingdom with the standards of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, one should bear in mind that the Charter is mostly consistent with the rationale of Romano-Germanic legal systems which is quite different from the rationale of common law.

The aim of this exercise is rather to gain some direct knowledge on the actual functioning of local self-government in the member States. It also provides an opportunity to compare the functioning of local self-government systems in different member States and to help member States to benefit from each other's experience. There is an incredible lack of comparative knowledge on the actual functioning of public institutions, and existing literature is too theoretical and provides little insight. During the work of the Committee of Experts appointed by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe to monitor the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, it became clear that the situation of local self-government in quite a few countries is far from satisfactory. Therefore, a simple statistical comparison between the situation in a given country with the prescriptions of the Charter might to some extent be misleading. In fact, the developmental trend of the situation might be more important.

This report is being written at a time when the recently-elected Labour Government led by Mr Tony Blair is planning to introduce radical changes into British local government. We hope that this paper will be of some help to the people in charge of reshaping British local government, providing them with an external perspective.

2. A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

Under this chapter we shall attempt to provide a brief description of local self-government in the United Kingdom. We shall take into consideration exclusively England, Wales and Scotland. As for Northern Ireland, the key issue at present is the peace process. The Rapporteurs were extremely pleased to learn, on Good Friday, 10 April 1998, that a peace agreement had been concluded between the main actors of the conflict, 29 years after it had started -a bloody conflict in which 3,200 people had lost their lives. In the course of this conflict, regional self-government in Northern Ireland had also been abolished (on 24 March 1972), and local democracy had been "eviscerated"1.

The Congress had previously expressed the view that stability and peace in Europe might be fostered by granting a certain degree of regional self-government in particular areas and by creating bodies responsible for regional transfrontier co-operation. It is therefore of particular interest that the agreement provides for the creation of a regional assembly and of a regional government elected by it, as well as for the creation of specific transfrontier North-South institutions with competences in specific areas such as tourism or education. Furthermore, minority rights will be respected.

The Rapporteurs hope that political forces from all sides in Northern Ireland will eventually support this agreement and that a clear majority of voters will express their support in the referendum scheduled for 22 May 1998 next. The parties involved, and also the Governments of the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States, should be congratulated on the success of these difficult negotiations.

As far as the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and Overseas territories of the United Kingdom are concerned, specific situations do exist, but the Rapporteurs felt that it would take them too long to go into these issues.

2.1. Local self-government in common law countries

In order to better understand the issue of local authorities in the United Kingdom, we feel that it is necessary to recall briefly some basic characteristics of the legal system of the country concerned. We do not intend, of course, to present an exhaustive description of common law legal systems. We shall simply try to single out some very basic characteristics of the legal system of the United Kingdom which appear to be of some relevance to the understanding of local government in this country, particularly in order to avoid misunderstandings when comparing with the standards of the European Charter of Local Self-Government.

Traditionally, in common law countries, local government is formally responsible vis-à-vis the Parliament and its Government (the ritualistic expression being responsible to the "Queen in Parliament"). This implies a basic tendency not to be responsible to the citizens and to a formal submission of local authorities to central Government. However, it is also to be taken into consideration that, according to tradition (a basic element of common law), central Government has little power to interfere in the discretionary decision-making of local government. Central and local government can therefore be regarded as mutually autonomous entities.

In common law countries, standards are set by "tradition" and "statute law": the rationale being that everything is regulated by "common law" (which might roughly correspond to what is called in the Romano-Germanic tradition "praxis" or "tradition"), whereas "statute law" (Act of Parliament) regulates only single issues (usually infringing upon the praxis). Also to be taken into consideration is the traditionally functional approach of the Anglo-Saxon culture, which leads to the regulation of functions (or activities) rather than structures (local authorities). It is therefore understandable that in the United Kingdom there is no act summarising the competences of local authorities, either by enumerating them or by defining them in general terms. Instead, the United Kingdom system deliberately confers on local authorities specific and discrete competences which ensure that they are independently responsible for a substantial share of public affairs. Common law, as well as statute law, while regulating single issues, provide various levels of government (central as well as local government) with powers on single issues. The ultra vires doctrine, while granting the mutual autonomy of local government, prevents it from acting on areas which are not specifically assigned to them.

Finally, we should mention the fact that, during the 19th and 20th centuries, along with the increase in functions performed by the public sector, United Kingdom local government has acquired more and more powers, especially in the service sector. Somehow, this process has been increasing the interest of central Government in local government: one might say that central Government feels the necessity to put local government under some kind of "control" or "supervision", given that they manage such an important share of public activities. This is linked with the trend that has seen the financial autonomy of local government progressively eroded during recent decades.

2.2. Levels of local self-government

Traditionally, local self-government in the United Kingdom has two levels: districts and counties. In Wales and in Scotland, the two originally existing levels were recently compressed by the Conservative Government into a single level ("unitary authorities"). Whatever the reasons for such a move may have been, this makes the creation of some sort of regional government in Wales and Scotland easier.

In England, only a few "unitary authorities" have been created so far. Their generalisation seems to many to be a pre-condition for possible devolution in England itself.

2.3. Management structure of local authorities

Local authorities (including counties and districts) are managed by an elected council and an appointed staff. The appointed staff is led by a "head of paid service" whose duties are those of a chief executive appointed by the council. The council supervises the operation of the appointed staff via committees. There is not necessarily any link between the committees and the divisions of the administration. It must be noted that, according to the experience of other European countries, a democratically-elected political executive consisting of a limited number of people is much more effective in supervising municipal bureaucracy than committees.

Councillors receive very low allowances for their work. This makes it more and more difficult to attract genuinely qualified people for such functions. It is of course unreasonable to suggest that all councillors should be provided with an adequate indemnity or salary for work carried out for the council. Here we have one more reason, however, to seriously consider the possibility of singling out of the council some executive positions for which remuneration corresponding to the high level of responsibilities and to the number of hours worked could be affordable.

2.4. The competences/powers of local authorities

Recalling what we have already said in paragraph 2.1:

1. in the United Kingdom there is no act summarising the competences of local authorities, either by enumerating them or by defining them in general terms;

2. local authorities in the United Kingdom have specific independent powers accorded to them mostly by statute law in acts which regulate specific issues and, along with the powers provided to local government, also provide different powers to central Government;

3. according to the ultra vires doctrine, local authorities have no power to intervene in matters of local interest which are not specifically assigned to them, be they or not assigned to other levels of government;

4. traditionally, local government had duties as well as powers accorded to them (for instance, in the fields of education, personal social services or housing); however, central Government has been trying to impose upon local government a general duty of quality delivery ("value for money" or, in future, "best value").

Finally, possibly in line with the pragmatic approach of the Anglo-Saxon legal mind, not all the authorities belonging to the same level (district level or county level) have the same powers.

2.5. Financial resources

Roughly 80% of the financial resources of local authorities come from central Government. About 20% of these financial resources come in the form of earmarked grants to which we have to add 0.1 % of so called "top sliced" funds proposed by local government itself (i.e. central Government funding for local government which is top sliced in favour of initiatives for local government decided by central Government; this is the case, for instance, for LGMB and LGIB).

2.6. Supervision and control

Formally no a priori supervision is in place. However, each local authority is submitted to a series of practices which might work as actual a priori checks. Some of these checks might also work as an actual expediency supervision. We shall briefly describe these issues:

1. capping: central Government establishes every year the upper limit of expenditure for each single local authority; the "cap" must be either agreed by the authorities concerned or agreed by the House of Commons. This system limits the tax-raising power of local authorities; it might be worth recalling the practice of many continental member States according to which local authorities have a tax-raising power only within the limits established by state legislation; according to what we were told by Prof. Alan Alexander from Strathclyde University, it would however be difficult to impose general limits (valid for all local authorities) as to tax-raising powers, since different local authorities have been historically enjoying different levels of state subsidy, which have created expectations that cannot be drastically harmonised;

2. compulsory competitive tendering (CCT): according to a set of economic standards, local authorities are forced to tender -against their own administration- the delivery of various services; in this context, it might be worth recalling the practice of many continental member States according to which the State limits the percentage of expenditure for staff, thus forcing local authorities to sub-contract some of their operations;

3. auditing and the "Audit Commission": the activities of local authorities are submitted to the scrutiny of auditors appointed by an "Audit Commission" (in England and Wales) and by the "Accounts Commission for Scotland"; in many local authorities (especially when they are big enough in size) one or more auditors work on a daily basis; as a result, in daily practice, such auditors have a strong influence in the decision-making process of local authorities; we were told that auditors are assigned in England to the same local authority for between a minimum of five years and a maximum of twelve years; auditors have the power to send decisions of local authorities to the courts; auditors do not only assess the correctness of expenditure procedures but also their effectiveness (expediency control concerning "value for money"); if auditors esteem that a local authority has been particularly ineffective, they may force the local authority concerned to publish their assessment for the benefit of the local community; it might be worth remarking here that, not only in the United Kingdom but in almost every Western country, the need is being perceived to assess the economic effectiveness of "public policies"; the attempts of the Audit Commission might be, from this standpoint, very interesting; however, the issue of local autonomy is being challenged; the "Audit Commissions" (England and Wales) and the "Accounts Commission for Scotland" are independent professional bodies appointed by the Government; the Government may also issue directives to the said Commissions;

4. surcharge: unlike central Government officials, local government elected representatives and appointed staff can be held financially responsible for decisions made in their capacity, not only if they go against the norm but also if they are guilty of "gross negligence".

The issue of supervision and control appears to be particularly charged, especially if we take into consideration the fact that 80% of local government financial resources of local government derive from central Government and that 20% of local government financial resources are earmarked grants (cf. paragraph 2.5).

2.7. Quangos

Under the Conservative Government, quite a number of powers were taken from local authorities and given to so-called "quangos" (quasi non-governmental organisations). Quangos are bodies (whose legal nature varies case by case) managed by a board usually appointed by central Government. At the moment a little less than 1,000 quangos seem to exist, of which around 200 deal with matters originally falling under the powers of local government and/or of relevant interest for local government. It seems, however, that appointments are made taking into consideration some criteria of representativity.

It must, however, be stressed that quangos mostly perform functions which, in many European countries, are not performed by elected local government: it is the case of municipal enterprises, syndicats de communes (in the French system), institutions (in the Scandinavian systems) etc.

2.8. Appointed staff and the role of LGMB

It seems that local government staff are appointed and managed autonomously by each single local authority. There seems to be nothing like a local authorities’ "public service". During our interviews it was pointed out to us that "the quality of central Government civil service is better than the one of local government employees because civil servants are recruited through some sort of competitive selection".

Promotion seems to take place mostly according to the rules of the professional groups (accountants, architects, solicitors, etc.) to which single employees belong. Here again we come across a characteristic feature of British industrial relations, which might appear strange to continental observers. Although it is true that local authorities are themselves generally responsible for determining the size, composition and deployment of their workforce, appointments must be on merit and there are specific requirements in relation to certain key posts: for example, a local authority must appoint a suitably qualified person responsible for the financial administration of its affairs; it must also appoint a "head of paid service" as well as a "monitoring officer" responsible for reporting potential illegalities or maladministration.

There is no special training before recruitment. In-service training is taken care of either by professional organisations to which employees belong or by each single local authority.

In this context, the Local Government Management Board has to be mentioned. The Local Government Management Board was described to us as a sort of quango financed directly by central Government through the system of top slicing. Officially, it seems to be a limited company managed by a board on which representatives of the Local Government Association sit. As to "top slicing", some questions remain: the district of Bromley has decided not to join the Local Government Association. It is therefore not represented on the board of LGMB but, through the mechanism of top slicing, is called upon to support financially the activities of LGMB.

It seems that one major competence/power of LGMB is to represent local authorities in collective bargaining with unions. It also seems that LGMB is somehow called upon to promote the managerial development of local authorities’ appointed staff, even though we were told that it does not directly run any training activity. One might therefore wonder whether LGMB represents an attempt somehow to homogenise and professionalism a currently very dishomogeneous local government service by the establishment of standards.

3. TRANSITION IN PROGRESS

The Government, led by Tony Blair, elected one year ago on 1 May 1997, has made clear its intention to substantially reshape local government and the relationships between central and local government in the United Kingdom.

Here we shall summarise briefly the changes in progress. We could mention:

1. The European Charter of Local Self-Government has been signed and the process of its ratification was completed on 24 April 1998; however, the signature and ratification of the Charter are often perceived as a mere political symbol and not as an actual change in the legal system of the United Kingdom, apparently due to the dualistic legal system of the United Kingdom; indeed, any international ratified treaty is not self-executive in the United Kingdom; to grant the actual implementation of its provisions, any treaty needs ad hoc acts of Parliament.

2. Regional governments are under creation in Wales and in Scotland.

3. The same powers will not be devolved to the Welsh Assembly as to the Scottish Parliament; the latter will have a minor tax-raising power; both will have competence to regulate local government affairs but the Scottish Parliament will have real legislative powers.

4. The "Accounts Commission for Scotland" will most likely report to the Scottish Parliament and no longer to central Government.

5. It is not clear if a separated "Audit Commission" for Wales will be put into place and if, eventually, this will report to the Welsh Assembly.

6. A Greater London Authority will be created; such a "strategic authority" will be led by a directly-elected official ("mayor"); such an authority will apparently have some coordinating powers vis-à-vis the London districts; it should, however, be stressed that Government stated the intention not to declare the European Charter of Self-Government applicable to the common Council of the City of London because, for historical reasons, it has unique organisational and electoral arrangements.

7. Local authorities will have the possibility to experiment with different management systems (direct election of the mayor, the creation of executives, etc).

8. Compulsory competitive tendering (CCT) will be abolished; its place will be taken by an approach called "best value"; "best value" has not yet been completely defined; according to what we were told, it seems that the Audit Commission and Accounts Commission for Scotland will "assist" local authorities to get the best value for their money; here again, we have to bring to the attention of the Congress and of the competent authorities of the United Kingdom the danger of an undemocratic control of expediency exercised by an external authority over local self-government; this would apply, in particular, if "best value" were to become a legal duty imposed by statute law, instead of being a mere objective pursued by local government itself.

9. The possibility of abolishing capping is under consideration.

10. Regional development agencies are being created throughout the United Kingdom; however, such agencies will be quangos; moreover, some representatives complained that local authorities were not consulted as to the geographical definition of the boundaries of such development agencies. However, according to the Minister, they are to be considered rather as a "starting point". Further developments could lead to democratically-elected regional authorities, as far as the people in the areas concerned express a clear wish in that direction.

11. Permanent consultation meetings between central Government and local government representatives have been established at a very high level.

12. The Minister for Local Authorities and Housing, Mrs Hilary Armstrong, has declared the intention to provide local government with a sort of "duty to promote economic, social and environmental well-being of their citizens" (which might very well be considered as a sort of functional equivalent of a general competence).

13. Mrs Hilary Armstrong, has made reference to the efforts made by the Government to shift local government responsibility from institutions to the citizens (which actually implies a sort of Copernican revolution in the United Kingdom system, with local authorities no longer being responsible vis-à-vis central Government but vis-à-vis the citizens).

Generally speaking, it appears evident that the new Labour Government intends to enhance and promote the role of local self-government. However, it would appear that this intention does not necessarily lead to consistent policies: recently the Prime Minister stated in a press release that the Government intends to become a partner of local authorities; however, should the latter fail to be responsive, the Government would be looking for other partners.

4. THE EUROPEAN CHARTER OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT AND SELF-GOVERNMENT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

Considering the recent signature and ratification of the European Charter of Local Self-Government by the United Kingdom, it might be useful to try to assess the compliance of United Kingdom legislation with the provisions of the Charter. By so doing, the reader should bear in mind:

1. the difficulties in mutual understanding due to the different legal traditions; we must acknowledge that, in general, Government and local government representatives in the United Kingdom, in good faith, are convinced that the United Kingdom is already complying with the principles of the Charter even though some interlocutors seem to be quite sceptical about whether genuine local self-government exists in the United Kingdom;

2. the difference between the situation today and developments envisaged under new Labour Government policy;

3. a comparative perspective which might help us to look at some of the principles of the Charter with a degree of detachment;

4. the fact that, due to the dualistic legal system of the United Kingdom, any international treaty ratified is not self-executive in the United Kingdom and ad hoc acts of Parliament will be necessary to bring about the actual implementation of provisions of the Charter. However, the United Kingdom considers that the Charter enshrines basic principles already reflected in the United Kingdom system of local democracy which the Government intends to develop and reinforce.

We shall list here some topics worth consideration, making the distinction between:

1. topics in relation to which we think that the United Kingdom is complying with the provisions of the Charter even if, at first sight, it might not seem to be doing so;

2. topics in relation to which doubts and concerns subsist, after careful consideration.

4.1. United Kingdom local self-government and the European Charter of Local Self-Government: a difficult comparison

Here we shall briefly take into consideration one single topic in relation to which we think that the United Kingdom is complying with the provisions of the Charter even if, at first sight, it might not seem to be doing so: the lack of any ad hoc definition (either by enumerating the competences or by providing a general definition) of local authorities’ powers; this is due (see above paragraphs 2.1 and 2.4) to the peculiarity of statute law; however, it should be pointed out that, for each single function, the powers of local authorities (where applicable) are clearly stated.

4.2. United Kingdom local self-government and the European Charter of Local Self-Government: areas of concern

The topics under this paragraph are the following:

1. The lack of general and exclusive competences; considering (see above paragraph 2.1) the peculiarities of statute law; however, it must be pointed out that, for each single function, the powers of local authorities (where applicable) are clearly stated; it is possible that in the understanding of British people this grants the compliance with Article 4 of the Charter; it should also be mentioned that the Minister for Local Government and Housing intends to provide local government with a "duty to promote economic, social and environmental well-being for the citizens of their area";

2. Compulsory Competitive Tendering (CCT): it does not appear to comply with the provisions of Article 6 of the Charter; however, similar policies are in force in many European countries (see above paragraph 2.6);

3. The extension of earmarked grants and the practice of top slicing; again, in a comparative perspective, this practice does not merit severe criticism;

4. Capping: here again, we have to take into consideration the peculiarities of the British legal tradition; to protect the taxpayer and to grant a nationwide financial equilibrium, the pragmatic British approach finds it natural to provide individualised limits; we wonder here if it were not acceptable to provide general rules according to which individualised limits are imposed upon each single local government;

5. the role of the Audit Commissions (England and Wales) and the Accounts Commission for Scotland: we appreciate very much the effort of the two bodies, aiming at "imposing" efficient spending upon local government; however, we have doubts about the independence of these two bodies from central Government and about the dangers of combining auditing with judgments of effectiveness;

6. the possible role of "best value"; the project appears valuable -at this early stage; we wonder however, if it is right that such a programme should be run by the Audit Commissions (England and Wales) and by the Accounts Commission for Scotland; local government should at least have a choice;

7. the extension of central Government financing;

8. the lack of a general training and development policy for appointed staff;

9. the extensive role of quangos.

5. FINAL REMARKS

Generally speaking, the United Kingdom appears to a continental observer to be quite a centralised country. However, the peculiarity of British legal tradition might justify a widespread opinion according to which, formally, the United Kingdom complies with most of the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government.

It seems, however, that the new Labour Government intends to increase substantially the role of local self-government in the United Kingdom. It is clear that a century-long tradition of centralism cannot be reversed totally by the new Government, and certainly not in a short period of time.

In a comparative perspective, last but not least, some grey areas characterising local self-government in the United Kingdom might appear less dark.

APPENDIX I: BIBLIOGRAPHY


GOVERNMENT

1. A white paper - A voice for Wales - The Government's Proposals for a Welsh Assembly - July 1997

2. New Leadership for London - The Government's proposals for a Greater London Authority - a consultation paper - July 1997

3. Scotland's Parliament - The Scottish Office - July 1997

4. A Framework for developing best value in Welsh Local Government - The first report of the best value project group - August 1997

5. Local Government (Experimental Arrangements) Bill [H.L.] - The Lord Hunt of Tanworth - 26.11.1997

6. Scotland Bill - December 1997

7. "The London bulletin - Exclusive - Hilary Armstrong writes on revitalising local government" - Full marks for London's schools New Leadership for London - ALG's response - Getting London moving -December 1997

8. Building Partnerships for Prosperity - Sustainable growth, competitiveness and employment in the English Regions - DETR - 12/97

9. The Scotland Bill - A Guide - The Scottish Office - December 1997

10. Scotland Bill: notes on all clauses & schedules (except schedule 5)- The Scottish Office - January 1998

11. Modernising local government - Local democracy and community leadership - DETR -February 1998

12. Modernising local government - Improving local services through best value - DETR -March 1998

13. News Release - UK confirms commitment to local democracy - DETR - 2 March 1998

14. Press Release 4 March 1998 - "Leading the Way: A new vision for local government" by Rt Hon Tony Blair MP - Institute for Public Policy Research

15. Modernising Local Government in Wales - Local democracy and community leadership - March 1998

16. Modernising Local Government in Wales - The Agenda - 1998

17. The Commission on Local Government and the Scottish Parliament - April 1998

HOUSE OF LORDS

18. House of Lords - Select Committee on Relations between central and local Government - "Rebuilding Trust" - ("Lord Hunt Report") - 2 July 1996

HOUSE OF COMMONS

19. House of Commons official reports - Parliamentary debates - 25 March 1998 - London Governance, pages 501-515

AUDIT COMMISSION

20. Passing the Bucks: the Impact of Standard Spending Assessments on Economy, Efficiency and Effectiveness - Volume 1 - Audit Commission

21. Trading Places - The Supply and Allocation of School Places - Audit Commission

22. Local Authority Accounts - The Rights of the Public - Audit Commission

23. Auditing Local Services - Audit Commission

24. We can't go on meeting like this - the changing role of local authority members - management paper by the Audit Commission - Sept 1990

25. A Rough Guide to Europe - Local Authorities and the EC - Audit Commission - December 1991

26. Auditing Local Services - Audit Commission - 1994

27. Local Authority Accounts: the Rights of the Public - Audit Commission - 1994

28. Talk Back - Local Authority Communication with Citizens - national report by the Audit Commission - 1995

29. Improving Value for Money in Local Government - a compendium of good practice from Audit Commission value for money reports - June 1995

30. Local authority - performance indicators 1995/96 - Police Service - Audit Commission

31. Local Authority - Performance Indicators - volume 1 "Education, social services, libraries, trading standards, fire and total expenditure - 1995/96 - Audit Commission

32. Local Authority - Performance Indicators - volume 2 "Council housing, recycling, planning, land searches, benefits, council tax collection, inspecting food premises and total expenditure" - 1995/96 - Audit Commission

33. National Picture, Local Focus - Strategy 1996 - Audit Commission

34. Planning of School Places - Audit Guide - Audit Commission - October 1996

35. Representing the People - The Role of Councillors - management paper by the Audit Commission - February 1997

36. Annual Report and Accounts - year ended 31 March 1997 - Audit Commission

ACCOUNTS COMMISSION FOR SCOTLAND

37. Room for Learning - Managing Surplus Capacity in School Building - The Accounts Commission - September 1995

38. Code of Audit Practice - The Accounts Commission - February 1996

39. Annual Report 1997 - Accounts Commission for Scotland

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION

40. Moving Forward Together - LGA (Local Government Association)

41. Best Value: A Statement of Objectives - LGA (Local Government Association) - 1997

CONVENTION OF SCOTTISH LOCAL AUTHORITIES

42. COSLA annual Conference 1998 - Preparing for Parliament - April 1998

THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT MANAGEMENT BOARD

43. The Local Government Management Board - Publications for Councillors from The Local Government Management Board

44. Other People's Local Government - by the Development Administration Group School of Public Policy - The University of Birmingham - LGMB - 1997

45. Role, Functions and Finance - LGMB - 1997

46. The Women's Leadership Programme - a national development programme for senior women managers in local government - LGMB - 1997

47. Research Link - Issue II - LGMB Research Partnerships Association of Essex Councils - 1997

ASSOCIATION OF DIRECT LABOUR ORGANISATIONS

48. Briefing 7/97 - Replacing CCT with a duty of best value: next steps - ADLO (Association of Direct Labour Organisations)

49. A Future for Local Public Service Provision - ADLO (Association of Direct Labour Organisations) - 1997

LOCAL GOVERNMENT INFORMATION UNIT

50. Spotlight on Best Value - Political leadership of Best Value - Geoffrey Filkin - LGIU (Local Government Information Unit)

UNIVERSITIES

51. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Local Governance Programme: an overview - Gerry Stoker

52. Local Self-Government in Common Law Countries - Martin Loughlin - Faculty of Law, University of Manchester

53. "From New Right to New Labour: Tensions and Hopes in the Reform of British Local Government" - Gerry Stoker (Research Council of Norway - International Seminar, Oslo, 12-13 December 1997)

COUNCIL OF EUROPE

54. Structure and operation of local and regional democracy - United Kingdom - 1993

55. Recommendation 2 (1994) on monitoring the implementation of the European Charter of local self-government

56. Resolution 31 (1996) on guiding principles for the action of the Congress when preparing reports on local and regional democracy in member States and applicant States

57. Resolution 58 (1997) on the situation of local democracy in member countries

58. Regionalisation and devolution policies in the United Kingdom by The Lord Tope - CPR/CP (4) 1 conf

59. Regionalisation and its effects on local self-government - Local and Regional Authorities in Europe No. 64 - Report by the Steering Committee on Local and Regional Authorities (CDLR), prepared with the collaboration of Prof Gérard Marcou - January 1998

OTHERS

60. City and County of Swansea - Best Value - Bid Submission for Pilot Status

61. Greenwich Regeneration - Housing Services Greenwich Council - 1996/1997

62. The Guide to Public Bodies "Quangos" - 1998

APPENDIX II

- MISSION TO THE UNITED KINGDOM

15-17 DECEMBER 1997

- MISSION TO THE UNITED KINGDOM

26-28 MARCH 1998

1 (Simon Jenkins, The Times, 8/4/98)



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